Issue: Feb 2005


Cars Worth Noting: 2005 Buick LaCrosse



2005 Buick LaCrosse

by John Peter

You could say I was pleasantly surprised after spending a week in this nextgeneration Buick, a term that I use to describe the post-Bob Lutz Buicks. This was the first car he saw in development after taking the job of GM vice chairman of product development and chairman of GM North America and was given the credit of saving it from finding its rightful place in the leisure suit museum.

The LaCrosse is a fine sedan, powerful, wellhandling, and as quiet and refined as any premium luxury car on the road today. But the styling, while an improvement over the cars it replaces, really doesnt move the car as far forward as GM would like to think. It doesnt suffer from its design, like the Pontiac Aztec or Toyota Echo, but the design doesnt quite pull it free of the stigma that will keep anyone under the age of 60 out of a Buick. The lines flow nicely and the creases on the rear quarters give it a crisp, finished appearance, but the front end still says Regal and Century.

The interior shows the signs of major quality improvements in fit, finish and materials, but the design is very 1960s-70s retro, from the wood grain to the simple IP with classic gauges.

But is there really anything wrong with that? The Art and Science movement was designed to sell Cadillac to younger buyers, competing with the likes of BMW and Lexus, and you have to expect to alienate the former demographic while youre chasing the newer one.

Those in Buicks demographic deserve good-quality cars too. The LaSalle concept that this car was based on was a beautiful example of classic styling brought into the future. The Velite convertible concept is more of the same. Why shouldnt we have something to look forward to in our old age?

But if I heard right that GM thinks that Buick will be its Lexus then it picked the right song for its television commercials Dream On.

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